The idea behind seed bombs is to turn poor soil areas into flowery meadows or forests. Seeds blow in the wind, stick to the body of an animal, drop to the ground, or get eaten by animals and excreted in a distant location: seed dispersal is one of the beautiful ways plants move around the world. To bomb seeds into a place is to add more chances for seeds to disperse.
Seed bombs have been used effectively throughout time, and are an ancient Japanese practice called Tsuchi Dango, meaning “earth dumpling”.
Fukuoka, the father of Permaculture, was an active encourager of seed bombing. Clay and organic matter are mixed with the seeds and thrown into abandoned lots, roadsides, railway lines, deforested lands: anywhere one hopes to add more plant species.
They are used since the 70’s in “guerrilla gardening”. Guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land where the gardeners don't have the legal rights to cultivate, such as abandoned sites and unmaintained areas, railroads, etc. It encompasses a diverse range of people and motivations, but it is an efficient and poetic form of protesting and of direct action.
Fall to early spring is the best time to make and throw seed bombs. Sowing the seeds during the cold and wet time of year will give these seeds the best chance to work their way into a soil niche and provide the cold stratification they need for germination.
Ingredients: clay, organic matter, water and a pinch of seeds. Do a little research before about the different seeds preferences you've chosen (soil, light, humidity).
Instructions: Mix equal parts compost or potting soil with clay (potters clay or cat litter clay with no added chemicals) with a little bit of water until you have a dough that sticks together but is not soggy. Experiment with rolling it into pea-size balls. Next press your finger into the ball to create a bowl shape. This is where you will place a pinch of seed. For large seeds use 3 seeds; for small seeds, the double. Gently roll the seed into the inside of the ball and set aside.
The seed bombs can be left out for a couple of hours to firm up, but you do not want them to dry out inside. They should then be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until you are ready to bomb.